Condos, townhouses likely for Riverdale Park

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006

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A proposed four-story development at the site of the former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) building between Lafayette Avenue and Tuckerman Street could bring about 460 multi-family dwellings to Riverdale Park.

Virginia-based KSI Services Inc. presented the proposal at the Riverdale Park Town Council meeting on Oct. 30.

‘‘We actually think this part of the county is really promising,” said Michael Eastwood, KSI’s director of multi-family development. ‘‘It has a lot of upsides. We like the relative proximity to the MARC station and the Metro.”

The site is about a half mile away from the College Park Metro station.

KSI’s 13-acre development would be adjacent to the M Square research complex in Riverdale Park. Preliminary plans include a row of 30 town homes along the south side of the development to create a residential buffer between the research park and existing homes along Tuckerman Street, Eastwood said.

‘‘It would be sort of a buffer to Riverdale Park’s existing neighborhoods,” Eastwood said.

The developers propose to offer 50 of the homes to University of Maryland doctoral students, Eastwood said. KSI is still in negotiations with the university, he said.

Site plans have not yet been submitted to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. KSI has taken the proposal first to Riverdale Park, College Park and some of M-NCPPC’s planners, Eastwood said. KSI hopes to present its first plans to Park and Planning before the end of the year.

‘‘We’re very excited about the residential development because we think that will really support the commercial development we’re trying to bring into the town,”said Deputy Town Administrator Dannielle Glaros.

The town has some older apartments close to Kenilworth Avenue, but no condominium units, Glaros said.

‘‘It’s a good compliment to the M Square project,” she said. ‘‘There’s no residential [areas] officially in that project.”

Eastwood said about 800 parking spaces would be built.

A fitness center, swimming pool and possibly a [community] park are in the plan, Eastwood said.

‘‘Just off hand it looks like it could be a very exciting addition to our community,” said Riverdale Park Councilman Robert Oppenheim.

Still, there are details to be ironed out.

Riverdale Park’s businesses are mainly niche stores and the town’s business association is not counting on the potential KSI project to bring in more customers.

‘‘I don’t think [it’s going to have an effect],” said Audrey Bragg, president of the Riverdale Park Business Association. ‘‘Not as far as our little town goes. Maybe on a larger scale.”

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